Rhino horn. Picture:  AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT
Rhino horn. Picture: AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT

THE carcass of a poached rhino with horns removed‚ which was found in the Kruger National Park, has led to the arrest of two rangers.

South African National Parks (SANParks) on Monday confirmed the arrest of the two field rangers at Nwanedzi ranger section of the park, for alleged involvement in rhino poaching.

"The arrest of the two field rangers (on Saturday) was the culmination of an extensive follow-up operation conducted after a poached rhino carcass‚ with horns removed‚ was located by the Nwanedzi rangers on (June 16). The two suspected field rangers were detained at the Skukuza police station pending further investigations and appeared in court today‚" SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said in a statement on Monday.

The arrests follow the suspension of two field rangers attached to the special operations unit in Skukuza on June 8, and the arrest of a field ranger based at Satara‚ and a technical services supervisor based at Skukuza‚ on June 9 2016.

Mketeni said: "We are constantly on alert and that is what led to the arrests of these individuals."

"The suspensions and arrests are the result of ongoing investigations by SANParks into rhino poaching activities in the Kruger National Park‚ and we therefore would like to congratulate the Kruger National Park rangers‚ the SANParks environmental crime investigation unit and the South African Police Service for doing a good job, and remind them that this is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

"We need to fight for our heritage‚" Mketeni said.

TMG Digital